Garages nearly finished as HIC problems begin


Carrie Crotzer

New equipment is set to be working by Thanksgiving Holiday. The initial completion date was Oct. 5.

With the garages soon to be equipped with new technology and secure systems, approximately 175 faculty spots will be lost with the addition of the Health Innovation Center.

As the semester rolls on, students and faculty have noticed that the garages remain open despite the initial scheduled completion date of Oct. 5.

This is frustrating to some students like Bridgette Gootee, sophomore visual communication design major, who believes that the delay is inconvenient.

“Honestly, they really failed a bit with how much we pay in tuition,” Gootee said. “You would think that it would be up within a month or two like I kind of expected.”

Director of Business Operations and Auxiliary Services Andy Meeks explained that such interruptions when working on projects are usual.

“It has obviously gone on longer than what we wanted, but that is pretty common when working with complicated construction and technology,” Meeks said. “Although I am not thrilled to death about it, you know I am not completely surprised. Now we are working on technology stuff between the new equipment and databases on campus.”

The reason for the delay is due to an annual manufacturing shut down during the time in which NKU’s new equipment for the garage was being produced, according to Meeks.

“That singular event threw everything out of whack,” Meeks said. “There is a sequence of things that have to happen, so during that time we could do a few things, but we couldn’t do a lot of programming work and we had no equipment.”

Now that the equipment has been installed, Meeks predicts that the Kenton Drive garage will open within the next 10 days, while the remaining two will take a week after that.

“One of the things that we don’t want to do is because we are late we don’t want to rush to open it and then have a bunch of problems,” Meeks said. “We are going to move from the SU garage to the Welcome Center garage to the University Drive garage, and have them working no later than when we come back from Thanksgiving break.”

The equipment is supposed to bring about numerous improvements like updated technology and security.

“The benefits include updated technology, which makes everything more relevant and better quality,” Meeks said. “It also provides opportunities for better communication and unmanned booths help with finances a bit.”

In addition to the open garages, the HIC is also going to cause a disruption in parking. Because of the new building, Faculty Lot C will be removed.

Currently, it is estimated that the lot will close over winter break.

“When I see the fences go up around it, then that is when I will know that it is offline,” Meeks said. “I suspect that it will be during the holiday break this year.”

The closing of this lot has Gootee worried because she feels that parking is already limited.

“Parking in general on this side of campus is horrendous, especially in the morning,” Gootee said. “It would be nice if there was more parking in general.”

The gravel lots have also proposed issues for commuters.

Steven Horacek, senior communication studies major, explained the different problems that he has faced with the gravel spots.

“There is not enough spaces and the fact that it costs so much, especially the cost per spaces in the gravel lots, when they aren’t that great,” Horacek said.

However, according to Meeks, the notion that there aren’t enough parking spaces isn’t true.

“What happens and what people are concerned about is that we have taken lots adjacent to the academic buildings and as new buildings are built that parking goes away,” Meeks said. “What has happened, like most universities, is that the parking is being moved to the exterior of campus. People would prefer to park right by the building that they are going to and that is why it seems to be difficult.”